Chapter Eighteen

My last devotional of the year was entitled Wistful Words. It was all about trust. Trust, at least for me, is hard to come by... worldly or Godly. It is as if I've only ever been able to rely on or trust "me" - and when I fail myself, it's been ever so difficult.

Yes...trust and trust issues. This past year with health issues... cancer and chemo, has taught me a bit about trusting God - and my NOT being in control. Then with Dennis' health issues.

A dear friend brought me to tears as she was sharing with our accountability group about her newest tattoo. I asked if it was in a place where we could see it. She removed her shoe and there is was in all its glory - "make it count" on the inside of her left foot. I cried. I cried because I created a "private" FaceBook Page to share with all my prayer warriors was was happening. It was a great way to let a number of persons know at one time what was happening and to provide prayer requests. It was named "Make it Count, Dear Lord".

It is my custom to have a time of meditation and journaling, then to read at least one piece of poetry daily. After that, it is time to make the bed and straighten the bathroom and towels. Little rituals that help me to set the tone for the coming day.

At the day’s end, I try to be sure the dishes are washed, the sink empty and everything is “in its place”.

That doesn’t always happen, but it is a ritual I try to keep.

My poetry comes daily from the Poetry Foundation and then from Robert Okaji at O at the Edges. His offering for New Year’s was a very rich piece entitled Year’s End. Feel free to locate his blog at WordPress. I tried to attach the link, but it didn't seem to work.  Alas!

Today I received the daily offering from the Poetry Foundation and it, too was a wonderful offering by Naomi Shihab Nye. I offer it here for your review.

Burning the Old Year

BY NAOMI SHIHAB NYE

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.   
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,   
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,   
lists of vegetables, partial poems.   
Orange swirling flame of days,   
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn't,   
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.   
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,   
only the things I didn't do   
crackle after the blazing dies.

As most of you are aware, 2015 was a challenging year for our family. We welcome with open arms 2016 and yet are fully cognizant that we have no control over how the year will unfold. It is our prayer that we are malleable and will be able to bend with the winds that will surely rage through 2016.

Our individual health crisis this past year seemed to draw the two of us closer together. Too often a family crisis can destroy the union, but ours was strengthened. I only know that it is a God given grace that caused that – and the myriad of prayers that were being offered on our behalf.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but I do have another blog over at WordPress.  I call it Confessions of a Prison Librarian. I generally try to promote inmate poetry, but sometimes change course and promote other poetry or my thoughts about various prison issues.

My best wishes to all of you for the New Year! I wish you health, safety and warmth.

Tamara

2 Corinthians 4:16   The VoiceSo we have no reason to despair. Despite the fact that our outer humanity is falling apart and decaying, our inner humanity is breathing in new life everyday.

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